Founder, Chloe Mitchell Millinery
In 2014, 20-year old Chloe Mitchell launched her millinery company Drop of a Hat, at a
time when hatmaking was not a popular art in Kenya, as she explains, “There were no hat
makers specializing in bespoke handmade hats and headpieces here in Kenya, despite the need and demand for them,” Chloe explains. She later rebranded her company to Chloe Mitchell Millinery.
Seeing as this was a new concept in the Kenyan market, Chloe initially had to expose the art of couture hat making to people. “The biggest challenge has been helping people understand the craftsmanship and the value behind a handmade hat or headpiece,” she says. With the help of benevolent sponsors, she has tried to bridge this gap through exhibitions, selling at craft fairs, having TV and magazine interviews and giving talks in relevant settings. With the prevalence of art-related businesses, Chloe reckons that the most important tool for growth is marketing. “A large percentage of people in the world are on one form of social media or another. This has made marketing plain sailing,” she says.
In addition to making high-quality products, Chloe emphasizes the importance of good
customer relations, as a success factor in business, “I make it my priority to remember
each and every client. I make a mental note of any hat or headpiece that they either purchased or admired. This makes the customer feel very special and appreciated,” Chloe shares. With over ten collections of uniquely crafted handmade hats, Chloe has grown to be one of the go-to couture milliners in the country and internationally.
In addition, she has elevated the art of millinery to a level of social impact. For instance, her Out of Africa collection is uniquely designed to create awareness on wildlife conservation and to help spread the message against poaching. A percentage of the profits from the sale of each hat is donated to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya. By using her natural surroundings and causes that are important to her as inspiration, Chloe’s
creations have set her on an international level, and she is hitting a home run in business.
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